#TwitterGulag: How It Works, and How to Avoid It

It’s really not difficult
Wingnuts • Views: 34,207
Gulag via Shutterstock

The right wing mass hallucination known as #Twittergulag is still a hot thread on Twitter this morning; the paranoia shows no sign of subsiding, and why should it? There’s nothing more fun to wingnuts than imagining themselves as victims of a massive secret conspiracy.

As we’ve noted before, Michelle Malkin’s fake news site twitchy.com has been issuing “Hijack Alerts,” telling right wingers to go and hijack Twitter threads started by liberals or Obama supporters, with abusive, nasty tweets. (They call this “free speech,” of course.)

The thing is, Twitter gave everyone a tool to use when this kind of harassment behavior takes place; it’s called the “Block and Report” button. And it’s pretty hilarious to see these wingnut idiots jump into threads, issue insults and moronic negativity all over the place like badly house-trained puppies — then whine like obnoxious crybabies about being imprisoned in a “Gulag” when their accounts are reported for spam and suspended.

When wingnuts are successful in getting Twitter to reinstate their accounts, they will often go to the #TwitterGulag thread and announce that they’re free at last from the oppressive liberal concentration camp. And this gives us a way to see exactly why they ended up getting suspended in the first place.

Here are two wingnut Twitter users who announced today that they had been sprung from the Gulag, along with the tweets they sent right before their accounts were suspended.

First, Abraham MF Lincoln, whose profile description is, “The man who freed the Democrat’s slaves.”

His triumphant cry of freedom:

And what he was tweeting right before this:

Second, Jon Force, who describes himself as, “Ardent Capitalist, Conservatarian and admirer of Breitbart the Great.#Twittergulag refugee.” Mr. Force also thought it would be a great idea to spam the #DefineObamaInOneWord thread.

His triumphant cry of freedom:

And what he was tweeting right before this:

I can’t imagine why anyone who was enjoying the #DefineObamaInOneWord thread would be upset to see this deluge of stupidity in their timelines, can you? If you hover over the dates at lower left of each tweet, you can see the full timestamps, which reveal that all of these tweets were sent out firehose-style in just a few minutes, some of them just seconds apart.

This is what the wingnut #TwitterGulag crowd is calling “free speech” — an attempt to virtually shout down conversations started by liberals, with stupid comments and insults. Twitter created the “Block and Report” feature for exactly this kind of behavior, and guess what? When harassed, people will correctly use the tools given to them to complain about that harassment. This is no “plot” or “scheme,” it’s a completely predictable outcome if you act like an abusive moron on Twitter.

So, dear wingnuts, if you want to avoid having your Twitter account suspended, the solution is dead simple: don’t act like massive jerks, jump into threads where you’re not welcome, and piss everybody off.

UPDATE at 6/11/12 12:27:51 pm

One reason why I’m pointing out these easy-to-understand facts about #TwitterGulag is that there’s currently a conspiracy theory going around the right wing blogs, identifying one of the ringleaders of the secret plot to silence them as… yours truly.

Here’s one of the latest attempts to make me the super-villain of their persecution fantasy: Twittergate: TwitterGulag’s Commandant Neal Rauhauser and His Attempt to Silence Conservatives | the Trenches.

As recently reported on The Trenches, #TwitterGulag is a system exploit used by Leftists in efforts to quell free speech and association in the online world. The most recent spat of #TwitterGulag suspensions seems to originate from Little Green Footballs’ Charles Johnson (@lizardoid). As those following and collecting evidence of that apparent collaboration noted, Johnson seemed to gain knowledge of #TwitterGulag from Leftist operative Neal Rauhauser.

Do I even have to say that this is a completely made-up Looney Tunes fairy-tale?

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